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by Peter Moskos

February 15, 2011

Heroin overdoses soar in Boston

So says the Herald.
Heroin overdoses have killed five people in Boston so far this year, said Rita Nieves, Substance Abuse Services Bureau director at the Boston Public Health Commission. There were 21 local fatal heroin overdoses in all of 2010 and 16 in 2009, Nieves said.
By comparison, each month in the Netherlands there are fewer than 11 overdose deaths. And that's for all drugs (though I assume most are from heroin). The population of the Netherlands is 25 times Boston. You draw your own conclusion. Or maybe you just don't care when junkies OD, and you just consider it collateral damage.


Marc said...

Obviously, in a legal market purity and potency would be better regulated leading to a reduction in overdose deaths.

Until then, I don't understand why Narcan isn't sold over the counter and carried in every police car next to the AED. Find an unconscious person, blast some Narcan up their nose. If they were overdosing on an opioid you may have just saved their life, if not, it's essentially harmless.

PCM said...

Narcan is such a no-brainer. Opposition to Narcan really highlights the moral bankruptcy of the war-on-drugs crowd.

But can you really just shoot it up somebody's nose? When I was on the street is was injection only.

They'd prefer to have people die from drugs than take drugs and not die. It's all about "the message" it sends.

And, they think (despite much evidence to the contrary), if drugs were safer, more people would take drugs.

The war on drugs survives in part because of the "fact" that drugs kill. If they didn't kill, they wouldn't be so evil. And if drugs weren't so evil, how could we keep doing what we do to fight them?

Gotti Rules said...

Who really cares, "junkie, junkie, junkie." Are you really going to lose any sleep over a junkie dying? I know I never did.

Anonymous said...

RE: Gotti Rules

I think you just proved PCM's point, nicely. Way to hold the moral high ground.

Dave H- IL

PCM said...

Dave, I know Gotti well. He's a good friend of mine. And I think he'll be the first to admit nobody ever said his middle name was, "moral high ground."

But honestly, I never lost sleep over some addict dying, either.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't try and save their life, anyway.

Marc said...

Indeed peter, Narcan can be delivered up the nose using a nasal atomizer on the end of the needless syringe with good effect. There are some advantages and disadvantages, but the primary advantage of spraying it up the nose is that it's absolutely unfuckupable. You can't miss and there's nothing to accidentally stick yourself with. Perfect for cops.

PCM said...

"Unfuckupable" is indeed a good attribute for anything police get their hands on.

But seriously, if this drug doesn't even need a needle to administer, how is there *any* opposition?

PCM said...

Narcan is police action: http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/quincy/2011/02/quincy_cashier_thwarts_attempt.html

Atlas Demoria said...

It's sad to see good soldiers dying by overdose. Junkies don't mind getting high because they love it more than anyone. I just wish they don't die because of overdose.